Rod Stewart is one of the top 20 most successful artists of all time on the US pop singles charts. He first hit the chart as a solo artist in 1971. These are his top 10 hit songs of all time. The peak chart position of each song and year of release are included.
1. Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright) - #1 (8 weeks) (1976)
"Tonight's the Night" is one of the most blatant seduction songs in pop history. In the song, Rod Stewart makes his intentions abundantly clear to a young virgin. The extended album version closes with erotic whispers and moans from Swedish actress Britt Ekland, Stewart's girlfriend at the time. No other song is more firmly identified with Rod Stewart's reputation as a womanizer than "Tonight's the Night."
2. Maggie May - #1 (5 weeks) (1971)
"Maggie May" kicked off Rod Stewart's solo career with a shot hear round the world. It went to #1 simultaneously on the UK and US pop singles charts along with the album Every Picture Tells a Story. Stewart's reputation as a gifted storyteller was established by this tale of a young man mesmerized by an older woman and slowly coming to terms with the likely impact of his obsession. The witty, respectful (of Maggie), and self-deprecating lyrics are a pop music masterpiece.
3. Da Ya Think I'm Sexy - #1 (4 weeks) (1978)
Still one of Rod Stewart's most controversial records, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" remains one of the most commercially successful forays into disco by a major rock artist. Stewart lost a plagiarism lawsuit that determined the chorus was lifted from a song called "Taj Mahal" by Brazilian musician Jorge Ben Jor. The song itself is a very simple, straightforward tale of a guy meeting a girl in a bar and heading home for some late night entertainment.
4. All For Love w/ Bryan Adams and Sting - #1 (3 weeks) (1993)
"All for Love" was a big budget romantic ballad put together for the soundtrack to the movie The Three Musketeers. The star power of Bryan Adams, Sting, and Rod Stewart carried the instant dating hit to the top of the charts.
5. Downtown Train - #3 (1989)
The words of revered singer-songwriter Tom Waits and Rod Stewart's familiar raspy voice were a magical combination in this major hit single.
6. My Heart Can't Tell You No - #4 (1988)
"My Heart Can't Tell You No" is the biggest hit from the album Out of Order which kicked off a bit of a career renaissance for Rod Stewart after critics were dismissing him as irrelevant to contemporary pop. The album also included the hits "Forever Young," "Lost In You," and "Crazy About Her."
7. You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim) - #4 (1977)
Many critics called it lazy, but for others it's a grand singalong for the pub. Lyrically, "You're In My Heart" dishes grand praise for a steadfast partner who remains true despite the attempts of others to steer Rod Stewart off course.
8. Have I Told You Lately - #5 (1993)
"Have I Told You Lately" is a perfect example of Rod Stewart's later career powers as an interpreter of the songwriting work of others. "Have I Told You Lately," written by Van Morrison, is made into a signature Stewart tune by his simultaneously sensitive and powerful command of the emotions in the song. This performance was part of Stewart's Unplugged...and Seated album.
9. Passion - #5 (1980)
"Passion" is the standard bearer for a number of Rod Stewart's hits that are ultimately forgettable but still carry an instantly catchy melody line. "Passion" updated the disco sound of "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" with a bit of 80's rock guitar and brought Stewart right back into the pop top 5.
10. Young Turks - #5 (1981)
With "Young Turks" Rod Stewart discovered the 80's New Wave beat and sounded completely comfortable. The lyrics are another example of Stewart's great storytelling ability with a tale of Billy, Patti, teenage dreams of freedom and the reality of teen pregnancy.